Industry Funds Management chair Garry Weaven has warned that industry fund trustees will have to become politicised if Senator Grant Chapman’s parliamentary inquiry into super “turns out to have serious Government figures behind it”.

Weaven told a panel session at last week’s Australian Super Investment Conference that the joint committee initiated by the Liberal senator might be “nothing more than the last hurrah of an underachiever”. However he warned trustees that the committee, which will probe whether funds should be subject to capital adequacy requirements, and revisit the question of whether they should be able to advertise, could pose a serious threat that every trustee would have to help fight. He warned, for example, that if uniform capital requirements were imposed as a result of the joint committee, there would be “no such thing as a true profit-to-members fund any more”. As evidence of the political nature of the inquiry, Weaven pointed out that suggested terms of reference which might have impacted retail superannuation providers – such as the conflicts created by a trustee also being a director of a funds management firm – were struck out of the inquiry’s final jurisdiction.

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